The Paw Print

College searching sucks | Opinion

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Photo from Pexels.

Shéa Page, Staff Writer

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Dear Juniors,

I hope you’ve enjoyed the insanity of your junior year. Isn’t it welcoming? Yeah, not so much.

After years and years of college and life prep, (you have to know what you’re going to do as soon as you graduate!), you have now entered a new realm in which you must act on all of those years of training.

Where are you going to school? This decision is going to impact the rest of your life.

Do you want your school to be near home or far away? Something could happen and your parents might not be around.

I’ve been hearing so many people’s opinions on a choice that is impacting my life.  It almost feels like it should have the “parenting rule”; don’t tell me your opinion unless it’s actually helpful.

Personally, my experience has been, I think, unique. I panicked, for months, about not college searching and in turn, you guessed it, didn’t search for colleges. Everyone else seemed to have been so confident in where they were going, why they wanted to go there, somehow managing to afford it, all while I was still sitting, stressed and lost.

Once I did finally find a college, it was almost like I entered a “cool kids club” and realized that I’m not actually that far behind my peer group and that everyone else was floundering as much as I was but I just couldn’t see it through my panic.

The fog cleared away when I was able to say I know where I’m going. I know where I’m going(ish). What a concept.  I found eight colleges and universities I’m going to apply to and if anything, it almost seems like I have my life together because I’m going overseas, a personal choice encouraged by my mother.

I chose the location of Ireland because of a few reasons:

  1. It’s prettier there and the people are nicer.
  2. It’s cheaper, like a lot cheaper.
  3. I used to live there so the unfamiliar territory is a little less unfamiliar.
  4. We have friends so I won’t be alone, which was a big fear of mine when it comes to college.

The actual schools I chose for a few reasons as well, me personal requirements:

  1. Again, money. It’s significantly cheaper which is good for a not-as-financially-secure family. The most expensive school that I am looking at is about $32,000, which is a lot, but the average is about $16,000. The smallest school is $6,000 – my mom is rooting for that one.
  2. I really wanted a smaller college and in Ireland at least, the average school is going to a lot smaller than a school in the United States. My mother’s old school was almost 100,000 students whereas the biggest school I’m looking at is 24,000, and that’s considered BIG. One of the schools on my list has 700 people!
  3. I am indecisive still as to what I want to do with my life and am bouncing between something in psychology or marine biology. One of the schools there offers both, meaning that if I decided to switch, it wouldn’t be extraordinarily difficult.

So, if you are stressed out about finding a college in any aspect, don’t be! Instead of watching Netflix or YouTube one of these days, just sit on College Board and look for schools. It’s a wonderful tool that our school has brought our awareness to.

You know all those fun quizzes on Facebook that you know aren’t accurate? Well, College Board has one for colleges and universities that can give you your best fitting college based on your parameters. You know what else? You can even find your dream school with a tub of ice cream – perfection.

Sincerely,

Shéa

 

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College searching sucks | Opinion